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Healthy Living Platform has been managing the Brixton Food Hub on behalf of Lambeth Council.
We are passionate about making it easier to help access healthy and sustainable food and we were able to bring our skills to help the Council do this. We also brought strong community links and have piloted working with more than 25 local community organisations to distribute food to people they have identified in their local community who are struggling to access healthy food. We describe these as Community Food Hubs.
At first the food was provided mainly to people shielding or isolating due to Covid19 but over time it became apparent that many of the people who needed help were already suffering from food poverty and that this was compounded by Covid19. The virus is hopefully disappearing but the food poverty remains. Also it is still not easy for people to shop around to get the best food they can at affordable prices. For example people with young children cannot queue for a long time outside a supermarket, neither can people who cannot walk easily. Some of the markets where there is good fruit and veg are busy and it is difficult to social distance, or they are a bus ride away and people still do not want to travel on public transport.
We believe that the community hub model, where healthy food is available at a local level (eg on every housing estate) is needed to help people going forward. We have lots of assets in place already that can help make this happen such as housing managers/TRA leaders who know their communities, community buildings that are not being used, and access to surplus food from supermarkets that can be shared. We also have many brilliant cooks who could be using under-used kitchens in community halls.
Find out more about what we have been doing by watching this film kindly made for us by Young Creators UK. Check them out on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/youngcreatorsuk/